MICHELLE CHAYTOR a 19-year-old in St. John’s, used marijuana heavily between ages 16 and 18. She says she’d been a pretty good student who attended class regularly when she began smoking, and ended up dropping out during Grade 11, “too stoned to pay much attention to what was going on.” She is now unemployed, eight months pregnant and living with parents Brenda, 45, and Roger, 54. Michelle’s parents have given up the master bedroom so that she and the baby can comfortably occupy it.
“I was into marijuana really heavy until about a year and a half ago-it was really bad. Me and my mom and dad weren’t getting along because I was always coming home high. My eyes would be red and I’d be talking funny and I’d be munching-out all the time. They’re not stupid.
“Mom never used to say anything. Dad would pick me up sometimes and say, “You’re stoned again tonight!” and start flipping out-because he picked me up whenever I’d call. He used to tell me he wouldn’t pick me up again. But he would, because I hung out in a bad area and he didn’t want me walking back home in the dark.
of Canada’s 3.7 million teens may suffer from depression and anxiety -STATISTICS CANADA
“There was nothing my parents could do—it had to come from me. But I couldn’t go one day without having it. I realized everything was going downhill for me and it wasn’t going to get better-and I didn’t want to be like that. So I stopped hanging around with that group of people and began going around with people who weren’t doing it. I stayed at home a lot and barred myself in my room. It was very hard coming down. I couldn’t sleep, and I’d get the shakes and crave it. “I think my parents handled it well. They never lectured me about it. When I was trying to quit, they were pretty good. Mom used to take me to the mall, to go shopping or go out for dinner.”
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